Helpful Hints when Posting your Question

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Global Moderator
Aug 27, 2002
Roselle Park, NJ
Real Name
A lot of people post their questions, sometimes in a desperate need for quick answers. To help make your question answered more quickly, it'd be helpful to the guru's if you have the standard things needed in order for a more accurate solution and/or answer.
Some have noticed that when a question is asked, the first few posts don't get right down to the grit, instead, they begin with their own questions. These questions are very important in helping us warm up to your situation at hand. When posting:

Pics help, there's nothing better than something we can see for ourselves as you describe the problem going on.

1. You should mention the size of the tank. Litres or Gallons work or if you
want, you can list both by going to google and typing in (for example) 30
litres to gallons or 30 gallons to litres (whichever applies), google will
provide you with the coversioned number.
2. You should mention whether you have cycled, and if so, was it fishy or
fishless. If you haven't cycled due to poor recommendations of your LFS,
it's best we know that because of the danger and immediate action
needed at that point.
3. You should mention how long the tank has been running or if so, how long
it's been stabilized.
4. You should mention whether this is a planted tank. If the plants are the
issue, mention the lighting you have and the inhabitants and substrate.
5. You should be mention what size of tank the fish is in or that you are
mentioning. Sometimes, the size of the tank is a big issue for when
something is going awry.
6. You should mention what other inhabitants are also in the tank and if they
are also affected by the cause of your post, and if perhaps you do have a
quarantine tank which can hold all new fish for a couple of weeks or so
and/or a hospital tank for which the sick fish can reside in during their
7. You should have tested the water prior to posting, indicating your pH
levels, your Ammonia levels, your Nitrate levels, and your nitrite levels.
These can be big indicators of fish acting weird.
8. If there is cloudy water, indicate whether it is a white or green cloud. You
can do this by putting a white sheet of paper on one side of the tank and
looking through to see the color.
9. If you do have a cloudy water issue, let us know what you have done in
the meantime such as changing filters, substrate, added clearing
chemicals, etc.
10. You should mention your water maintenance schedule, this includes
water changes and gravel cleanings. It should mention how much water
is changed and gravel is cleaned and how often.
11. You should mention whether you use a water conditioner to rid the water
of chlorine and/or chloramines.
12. You should mention what substrate you have, sand or gravel and
whether you have driftwood in the tank.
13. You should mention what type of filtration is on the tank and if there is
a heater or two.
14. If there is a heater, let us know what you keep the temperature at for
your fish, sometimes it's just a heating issue.
15. You should mention if any remedies have already been started on the
tank and what process you went about to starting it.

I know this seems like a lot but it's extremely helpful for everyone if these things listed so we can help you more efficiently in what may be an emergency situation.


No freelancing!
Aug 14, 2001
Real Name
I think that covers content...Now for title and 'other' issues.

A title needs to identify what the problem is. Something like "Help" really does nothing to tell us what the problem might be, and if we specifically can help. Something like "Green, cloudy water, new setup" is concise, and lets us have an idea what help you need. So--keep title brief, but descriptive. You'll get more helpful responses, from the people who are experienced with your problems, and others with the same problems can easily find the thread for help down the line.

Write as clearly and concisely as you can. No, we aren't all great writers. No one expects perfect grammar and spelling. But, this is a forum, not chat, and while abbreviations are used for common fish related terms, abbreviating other words will cause more confusion than it's worth. The same holds true for using weird capitilization--it makes it hard for readers to focus on the problem. Anything you can do to make it easier for us to help, the more likely we are to help!

When you post, even if it's the most urgent problem you've ever had, please realize that there is NOT an expected timeline for getting responses. If you post very early in the morning, or very late at night, it may be 12+ hours before you get a response--and this is for common questions. If you have a complex, or specialized problem, it may be longer. If you haven't gotten a response within 24 hours, you can repost in your thread with something like 'bump' to bring it back up to the top of the threads--but refrain from making nasty comments, please. If no one is responding, it's likely because either 1) you have a very challenging problem, and no one who has read the thread feels competent to respond (and be sure to check how many people have read the thread) or 2) the problem may be one that is so common that there are already a number of good threads covering it. Do NOT re-post, or make the same post in multiple forums--this just makes it harder for us to respond, and makes more work for the moderators.

Finally, a few notes to consider. First, this is a forum...None of the members are paid to be here, nor are any of the moderators. We don't have any motivation for providing bad information, but as with any hobby, there are a variety of ways to setup, cycle, and maintain a healthy tank. So you will sometimes get contradicting responses, and have to make a decision on what information to use. Make those choices based on 1) your comfort zone. 2) what you understand--and please, make an effort to understand! 3) If you get advice you don't like, do NOT complain about it. Do NOT make nasty retorts. If you really think the information is erroneous, report them and a moderator will review the thread and take action if needed.


Plastic Plant's Live Longer
Mar 2, 2007
"Minnesota - It Gets Chilly Here"
Thank you for posting this, Hopefully it will help, as every one who tries to help knows it can be very flustering when there is no or very little information to go on, and then every one finds out 2 or 3 pages later whats going on....Thanks again.....Weeser.....:)
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